Tiny Minority of Extremists Update: “Less than Half of Pakistani Public Supports Attacking Al Qaeda, Cracking Down on Fundamentalists,” from World Public Opinion :
Pakistanis show only weak support for using force against Islamic militants and overwhelmingly oppose allowing outside forces to combat al Qaeda on Pakistani territory.
A WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds that just 44 percent of urban Pakistanis favor sending the Pakistani army to the Northwestern tribal areas to “pursue and capture al Qaeda fighters.” Only 48 percent would allow the Pakistan army to act against “Taliban insurgents who have crossed over from Afghanistan.” In both cases, about a third oppose such military action and a fifth decline to answer.
Pakistanis reject overwhelmingly the idea of permitting foreign troops to attack al Qaeda on Pakistani territory. Four out of five (80%) say their government should not allow American or other foreign troops to enter Pakistan to pursue and capture al Qaeda fighters.” Three out of four (77%) oppose allowing foreign troops to attack Taliban insurgents based in Pakistan.
These are some of the results of a poll of 907 Pakistanis conducted in urban areas Sept. 12-28, 2007. The findings also reveal that a majority of urban Pakistanis believe their government’s decision to attack militants holding the Red Mosque in Islamabad was a mistake.
On July 11, Pakistan forces raided the Red Mosque in Islamabad to oust Islamic militants. More than 100 people died in the raid, including dozens of suspected militants and at least 10 Pakistani troops.
Nearly two out of three respondents (64%) say the raid was a “mistake” while only 22 percent say they support the decision.
These attitudes may also reflect Pakistani sympathy for at least some Islamist goals. A substantial 60 percent majority believes that “Shari”a should play a larger role in Pakistan law” than it does now. Only 26 percent say it should play the same role (15%) or a smaller role (11%) and 15 percent do not answer….